Film: Seduction/Secrets – The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden was my chosen last film to see from VIFF.  It was an intriguing change from all the other selections.handmaiden5It’s an erotic thriller with many a twist and turn.  I can only imagine what the men in the audience must have been thinking in a few of the scenes….given what I believe men like to envision.  But it was much more than that.  Beautifully directed from acclaimed writer-director Park Chan-Wook who is considered the King of Korean cinema.  His first English language film was Stoker starring Nicole Kidman.handmaiden3

Synopsis: with help from an orphaned pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri), a Korean con man (Ha Jung-woo) devises an intricate plot to seduce and bamboozle a wealthy, innocuous young Japanese woman (Kim Min-hee) out of her inheritance.  The woman lives on a large secluded estate and the Korean pickpocket is hired to serve as her new handmaiden.  But who is really fooling who here?

This movie was inspired by Welsh author Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith; with the setting changed from Victorian era to Korea under Japanese colonial rule.handmaiden2

It was a captivating piece of work.


The film festival has formally ended but extra screenings of some of the more popular films will play in select theatres over the next several days.  To find out more please visit:

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